James O’Brien

  • Friday Night in Lismore

    Friday Night in Lismore

    As you walk around the main block in Lismore, you can hardly walk fifty metres without seeing another grouping of hand-printed signs stuck to empty shop windows. These signs promote everything from bands playing and theatre productions, to natural health workshops, and (increasingly) signs from businesses looking for staff or saying they can’t open due to staff shortages.… Read the rest “Friday Night in Lismore”

  • South Lismore Railway Station

    South Lismore Railway Station

    The South Lismore Railway Station has seen a lot over the years. It was built in 1889 and served as a vital transportation hub for the region for over a century. However, the station has been closed for a number of years, due to flooding and damage from the 2017 and 2022 floods.… Read the rest “South Lismore Railway Station”

  • Signs of love and life in Lismore

    Signs of love and life in Lismore

    There was a moment today, as I walked around the block in Lismore, when I felt really quite sad.

    It’s three and a half months since I’ve been home, and it’s fourteen months since last year’s devastating floods.

    Deep down, I’d hoped the progress towards recovery might have been a little more profound than what I saw today.… Read the rest “Signs of love and life in Lismore”

  • Plot Changes

    Plot Changes

    I had the pleasure of seeing two fantastic films recently, each with its own unique appeal.

    The first was “Of An Age,” a movie that almost lost me during the opening sequence with its frenetic pace and my lack of sympathy for the characters.

    However, I’m so glad I stuck with it because the rest of the film unfolds at a much more leisurely pace and captures the heart of a young man who’s finally accepting his sexuality.… Read the rest “Plot Changes”

  • Thirteen Dollar Schooner

    Thirteen Dollar Schooner

    If it was for a “pint”, I would have understood paying $13 for a beer, but it was for only a “schooner”. A “schooner” is 425ml, significantly less than the 600ml you would find with a “pint”.

    The last time I paid $13 for a schooner of beer was at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay, and I remember being a little shocked.… Read the rest “Thirteen Dollar Schooner”

  • Flashback


    Whenever he appears in the media (as he did this week with his comments about AUKUS), I will often relate to friends and colleagues the time I had to “meet and greet” former Prime Minister, Paul Keating. Though I don’t recall the exact date, it was probably in about 2006, and I think he was coming on ABC Radio Sydney to talk about Barangaroo.… Read the rest “Flashback”

  • Don’t Be A “Schapelle”

    Don’t Be A “Schapelle”

    “You’ve got enough there to fill a boogie board, but here’s a letter to confirm it’s all legitimate in case you have problems at immigration”, the doctor half-joked to me today, referencing Schapelle Corby, as I went to get my vaccinations, ahead of my trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.

    Minutes later, I was standing at the light rail at Town Hall on George Street, and one of the “street preachers” mentioned her name, though I missed the context.… Read the rest “Don’t Be A “Schapelle””

  • Supermarket Thoughts

    Supermarket Thoughts

    “What do I need to prepare for lunch at work?” was the thought going through my mind the other night, as I walked around the supermarket. After three years of mostly working from home, I’m back in the office full-time for the next month or so.

    As I walked up and down the aisles, I was looking for some meals I could easily heat or “assemble”.… Read the rest “Supermarket Thoughts”